Ryanair by­passes union, threat­ens base clo­sures in Ir­ish pi­lot talks

Arab News - - Business - Reuters Dublin

Ryanair has threat­ened to close two re­gional bases and axe up to 120 pi­lot jobs un­less pilots in its home Ir­ish mar­ket by­pass their union and di­rectly ac­cept a pay cut, a memo said.

Europe’s largest low-cost car­rier is de­mand­ing pay cuts of up to 20 per­cent and changes to work prac­tices across Europe. It has said it plans 3,000 job cuts and a re­duc­tion in staff unit costs, but faces union re­sis­tance in a num­ber of mar­kets. In the memo sent on Fri­day, Ryanair di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions Neal McMa­hon told pilots the union coun­cil rep­re­sent­ing Ir­ish pilots had walked away from talks on Wed­nes­day, some­thing the Forsa trade union de­nied.

McMa­hon said a union re­quest for an ex­ten­sion of a 30-day con­sul­ta­tion on job cuts rep­re­sented “stalling tac­tics.”

In­stead, the memo sent on the com­pany’s in­ter­nal mes­sag­ing sys­tem, asked pilots to click a but­ton to ac­cept pro­pos­als in­clud­ing a 20 per­cent pay cut that would be re­versed grad­u­ally within four years, a spread­ing of avail­able work via job shares and un­paid leave, and “pro­duc­tiv­ity im­prove­ments.”

It said the num­ber of job losses, and whether bases at Cork and Shan­non air­ports re­mained open would de­pend on the num­ber of ac­cep­tances. A Ryanair spokes­woman said she had “noth­ing fur­ther to add to that memo.”

Trade union Forsa, in a memo to pilots on Fri­day, said Ryanair’s lat­est pro­posal was un­ac­cept­able as it would ef­fec­tively leave pilots tem­po­rar­ily on zero-hour con­tracts and pro­vided no guar­an­tee job losses would be avoided.

Forsa said it had re­quested third-party me­di­a­tion, but had not re­ceived a re­ply.

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